Adidas Increasing Usage of Recycled Plastics in its Products
In 2020, Adidas also plans to produce a record 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes with plastic waste collected from beaches and coastal regions.
Adidas futurecraft.loop second-generation shoe is 100% recyclable.
Adidas says that 2020 will mark the first time more than half of the polyester used in its products will come from recycled plastic waste. From 2024 onwards, the company is committed to using only recycled polyester.
Also in 2020, Adidas plans to produce a record 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes with plastic waste collected from beaches and coastal regions. Last year, Adidas produced more than 11 million pairs of such shoes. In addition, Adidas will introduce new product categories based on sustainability criteria.
This year will also mark the launch of its Primeblue and Primegreen fabrics where 100% of the polyester used is recycled.
Primeblue contains Parley Ocean Plastic. This is now included in products like Ultraboost 20 and in the uniforms of some of the biggest leagues and teams in the world.
Primegreen contains no virgin plastic. It will be available later this year and will also be featured in key competitive products.
Both performance fabrics will play a significant role in adidas reaching more than 50% total volume of recycled polyester at the end of 2020, the company stated.
In addition to increasing the use of recycled materials in production, Adidas is also working on making products easy to recycle with the goal of completely eliminating waste. The first fully recyclable running shoe, “Futurecraft Loop,” is made from a single recyclable material from sole to laces and is fused together without the need for glue. After an initial test phase with 200 athletes last year, the shoes were returned to Adidas and the company recycled them into components for new shoes. This second generation of “Futurecraft Loop” shoes is already back in the testers’ hands. The market launch is planned for 2021.
To establish complete circular recycling processes, Adidas has been testing consumer-friendly solutions for the return of used products since last year. In the UK, the program “Infinite Play” allows consumers to return Adidas footwear or apparel to Adidas partner Stuffstr using the Adidas app and to receive a voucher for the company’s online store. The returned products will be resold or, if that is not possible, recycled.
In 2021, Adidas will work with its key U.S. sports partners (MLS, NHL, USA Volleyball and the Power 5 NCAA football programs) to transition to more sustainable uniforms.
"We believe that through sport we have the power to change lives, and we are dedicated to creating that change. Since 1998, we’ve been developing and introducing innovations to end plastic waste. Our commitment to eliminate the use of virgin polyester in our products by 2024 helps us get one step closer to being a more circular company,” said James Carnes, vice president of Adidas brand strategy.
Two recently developed technologies are said to make high-quality PET recycling more economical.
So-called “ocean plastics” is a global problem, but a wide range of companies across the entire supply chain have put in the time, money and R&D efforts necessary to make capturing and converting the material into a sustainable business. But demand must follow.
Today, more than ever, granulation is an important step in the total production process.